Saturday, October 20, 2007


The Merest Statue of a Man

Samuel Johnson, conversation at the home of Sir Joshua Reynolds (April 25, 1778), reported by James Boswell:
Demosthenes Taylor, as he was called, (that is, the Editor of Demosthenes) was the most silent man, the merest statue of a man that I have ever seen. I once dined in company with him, and all he said during the whole time was no more than Richard. How a man should say only Richard, it is not easy to imagine. But it was thus: Dr. Douglas was talking of Dr. Zachary Grey, and ascribing to him something that was written by Dr. Richard Grey. So, to correct him, Taylor said, (imitating his affected sententious emphasis and nod,) "RICHARD."
This is Dr. John Taylor (1704-1766), who edited Lysias as well as Demosthenes. See John Edwin Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1908), pp. 414-415.

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